I found all these photos of you a few weeks ago. Gosh, you were so beautiful. You had this sparkle in your eye, that little mischievous look... It made me happy to remember how confident and free you felt then.
You loved to sing and dance in the foyer of Abuelita's house. Do you remember that? You'd wait in the hallway until someone introduced you "on stage" and then you'd sing your little heart out. You loved wearing twirly dresses and flutter your eyelashes at everyone. I remember how excited you'd get knowing that Papa and Mom were going to take you out - to the park, to the movies, to Abuelita's.
You were so young and innocent. You had no idea what life had in store for you. God, you were strong. A few short years after some of these photos were taken, your life did a 180. You experienced things no child should, but you were still happy. You didn't know any better. You were such a sweet angel. I miss you.
After looking at the photos, I decided to write you this letter. I wanted you to know how much I love you. I needed you to know that you got through it all and are an amazing woman. I also wanted to promise you some things.
These promises are as much for you as they are for me. These promises took a long time to put together - some were months, years in the making. But, finally, I can make these to you with the confidence that you have given me.
I promise to never put us in a corner.
I promise I'll never hide.
I promise to never blame us for everything that happened.
I promise that I will always look at myself and see beauty.
I promise that I will think of you often and make you proud.
I promise I will make room for joy as well as sorrow because you need to have both to live a life fully.
I promise you that I'll keep your essence alive - I'll keep that sparkle, that mischievous look.
I promise to remember you.
I promise to make you proud.
I'm so happy I found these photos, sweet girl. It gave me hope. It reminded me how awesome you are. You still are. You always will be.
Renee. Little Nay. We are one in the same. I love you. You're right here with me. Every step of the way. We made it, mama.
We made it.